The Blood Brothers Present: Pulp
Written by James Comtois, Qui Nguyen, and Mac
Directed by Matt Johnston, Pete Boisvert, and Patrick Shearer
Nosedive Productions (www.nosediveproductions.com)
The 78th Street Theatre Lab,
Non-union production (October 11-13, 18-20, 25-27, Thu - Sat, )
Review by Sean Michael O’Donnell
The Blood Brothers, in association with Nosedive Productions, are offering up a terrifying dose of blood and gore with their just-in-time-for-Halloween horror anthology, Pulp. A celebration of all things macabre, Pulp features a trio of short plays woven together by a series of connecting vignettes. Smart writing combined with a first-rate cast and outstanding special effects make for a chilling evening of bloodcurdling fun.
A scheming adulteress gets her well-deserved comeuppance in
the evening’s first play, Mac Rogers’ Best Served Cold. After running off with
her best friend Serena’s husband, Brianne sets up shop at a roadside diner with
the philandering Nick. Everything seems perfect until Serena shows up at the
diner anxious to exact revenge on her former best friend.
Qui Nguyen’s Dead Things Kill Nicely proves to be the evening’s weakest link. An homage to Hammer Horror Films (those cheesy British horror films of the 1960s and 70s), Dead Things tells the story of a promiscuous teenage girl held captive by a murderous mother-son duo. What could have been a clever send-up of horror movie conventions instead devolves into bad sketch comedy nonsensically strung together by British slang. At ten minutes it’s too long.
The program’s best offering is James Comtois’ Twilight Zone-esque thriller, Listening to Reason. On the run from the police, a serial killer hides out in the apartment of a mentally challenged young woman…but all is not as it seems. Director Matt Johnston ratchets up the intensity leading to Comtois’ inspired conclusion. Marc Landers does fine work as the killer while Jessi Gotta is outstanding as the young woman.
The connecting vignettes are hit-and-miss. Something Up His Sleeve tells the very funny story of a bloodthirsty magician and his hapless assistant with Brian Silliman delivering a hilarious physical performance as the magician. What Color Is The Sun? is a disturbing exercise in psychological terror perfectly directed by Pete Boisvert and featuring excellent performances by Gyda Arber and Anna Kull.
The program is narrated by Patrick Shearer. With his rich voice and intimidating physicality, Shearer does outstanding work perfectly setting the tone and uniting all the pieces.
Copyright 2007 by Sean Michael O’Donnell
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